RTÉ staff canteen closed over suspected rat infestation

Broadcaster confirms it has closed its main restaurant for the second time this year amid ‘evidence of rodent activity’

RTÉ told staff the restaurant would remain closed until the matter was 'fully investigated'. Photograph: Alan Betson

The main staff canteen at RTÉ in Montrose has been closed after evidence of rodents was discovered in the building, the broadcaster has confirmed.

This is the second time this year the facility on the Donnybrook campus in south Dublin has been shut down due to the suspected presence of rats or mice.

RTÉ said it earlier alerted staff the “main restaurant was not opened this morning due to evidence of rodent activity”.

The communication to staff said the restaurant would remain closed until the matter was “fully investigated”. Alternative cafe and restaurant services are in place.

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Earlier this year the canteen was shut down due to a rodent infestation believed to be caused by building works around the Montrose site. The facility was closed for a number of weeks in January until the pests were dealt with and the canteen declared safe.

Following the January incident, RTÉ said a number of controls were put in place to monitor rodent activity “which can occur from time to time, particularly due to building or other works on site or in the area”.

Where rodent activity is detected, “experts are brought on site to assess such activity and take the appropriate action, including precautionary measures,” the broadcaster said at the time.

Food safety issues have previously resulted in the closure of the canteen.

In 2001 the restaurant was voluntarily closed following the issuing of an improvement order issued by an Environmental Health Officer working with Food Safety Authority (FSA).

RTÉ had at the time invited the authority to inspect the premises after major refurbishment plans had to be trimmed back due to budget cutbacks. RTÉ had originally planned a complete overhaul of the premises, but the work was scaled back after it emerged it was likely to cost £2.5 million.

Following the issuing of the improvement order, the canteen was voluntarily closed down for re-tiling and re-flooring.

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly

Olivia Kelly is Dublin Editor of The Irish Times